'It's a harder identification': How one Army vet is lifting female service members
March 23, 2020
“I was a bit of a Private Benjamin,” she said. “I didn't know what I was getting myself into.”
“They're like: ‘Oh, thank you for your service, Mr. Del Gaudio,” said the Army vet from the Desert Storm era. “That's something that women face all the time... it's a harder identification and they automatically assume that he's the veteran, not you.”
That invisibility hurts female veterans in bigger ways — from homelessness to health care — and Del Gaudio is working hard to combat that. But it was a long journey for her as she had to first overcome sexual trauma she experienced in the military before giving back.
“I felt like my service was tarnished. I really didn't discuss it” until a friend in 2014 convinced her to join a veterans organization, se explained. “He goes: ‘Lucy, you should join. Your story should be heard. Other women veterans should know what you experienced and you could help them.’"
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